The Head Office IT Steering Committee governs and supports IT strategies, policies, projects and initiatives across all ABG subsidiaries, and ensures that they are consistent with the Group's strategic aims as well as each subsidiary's local strategy. The Group's short, medium and long-term IT strategies are now well established, standardised around a few carefully chosen core banking solutions that have been successfully implemented across all ABG subsidiaries. The Head Office IT Steering Committee monitors the Group's IT strategy, updating it periodically to make sure it can enable ABG's strategic objectives.
ABG's web-based financial consolidation and reporting solution measures corporate performance against key performance indicators based on the Group's strategic objectives. It is used to set benchmarks for each subsidiary and to monitor their performances continuously. This tool captures data from each subsidiary in its local currency and performs monthly, quarterly and annual consolidations in US dollars. In this way, it enables the collection, processing, reporting and analysing of data from across the various subsidiaries.
All of the Group subsidiaries have implemented core banking systems selected from a list approved by Head Office, so meeting central bank requirements for greater automation. The subsidiaries are now introducing satellite systems in areas such as risk management, cyber security, internet and mobile banking as well as many other areas. Following the merger of Al Baraka Bank (Pakistan) Ltd and Burj Bank Ltd in Pakistan, the two banks have started the process of adopting one banking system as part of their integration. Broadly speaking, the new core banking systems reduce the time to market for retail products and campaigns. They also increase automation, leading to greater effectiveness and efficiency.
The Head Office IT Steering Committee is working with subsidiaries to introduce systems that automate the process of complying with international anti-money laundering and know-your-client regulations, as well as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). These systems also screen transactions against the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list.
Each subsidiary has a disaster recovery centre, which is tested and audited at least once a year. The Group is working towards a unified standard of business continuity and disaster recovery, helping all subsidiaries to adopt best practices.
A Group-level cyber security committee was set up in 2016 to make sure that the Group and its subsidiaries have the right people, technology and policies to guard against cyber frauds or attacks. The cyber security committee has completed gap analysis of information security framework in the units and is now working with the individual units to ensure that gaps in information security framework are rectified.